(EVANSDALE, Iowa) — The aunt of the two missing Iowa cousins said on Thursday that authorities have accused a family member of involvement with the girls’ disappearance.
Tammy Brousseau, the sister of Misty Morrissey and Heather Collins, whose daughters Lyric Cook, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, vanished last Friday, said Morrissey’s estranged husband Daniel Morrissey has been the subject of intense police scrutiny.
“They have accused him,” Brousseau said. “They told him they had proof that he did it.”
“They found out a couple of family members have a criminal history so they’re focusing really hard on them,” she told reporters. Both Daniel and Misty have criminal records.
Police on Thursday said they could make no one available to speak with reporters because all available staffers were out working to find the missing girls.
Brousseau told reporters that the family was at a hotel Wednesday night when the FBI showed up to interrogate them. Daniel, she said, kept telling investigators that he needed to sleep, a comment that prompted authorities to ask him how he could sleep at a time like this.
“They’re working with them 100 percent despite what they’re saying,” Brousseau said of Daniel and Misty.
In the past day, investigators have seized the couple’s computers. Now, Brousseau said, the couple has been advised by an attorney not to talk to the police or the media, or take any more polygraph tests.
Brousseau acknowledged that Misty is currently on federal probation. Also, Brousseau noted, the couple is under a restraining order but are now allowed to spend time with each other as long as they don’t fight.
Earlier, Misty and Daniel Morrissey had said they have been questioned so extensively by police that it is now getting on their nerves.
“You tell them the truth and they say, ‘You’re holding something back,’ and you’re not. What is left to talk about? You know, we go over and over and over again,” Daniel Morrissey told KCCI Des Moines this week. “It made me feel like, ‘Yeah, they’re looking at me like a suspect.'”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Adrienne Shih, CNN
Jason Hanna and Joe Sutton, CNN